Lament That Leads to Hope: 2016 Northeast Asia Reconciliation Forum

Forum 2016 group in HK

By Sue Park-Hur, The Mennonite Magazine, June 17, 2016

On May 22, I took the red eye flight to Hong Kong to attend the third annual Christian Forum for Reconciliation in Northeast Asia hosted by Duke Divinity School and Mennonite Central Committee. The forum brought together 55 Christian scholars, educators, practitioners, pastors, and church leaders from mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and the U.S with the purpose of strengthening our work for God’s ministry of peace and reconciliation in Northeast Asia. This forum being my third, I looked forward to reconnecting.

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The Task of the Korean Church for Peace in the Time of Globalization

Sungbihn Yim (a participant at the 2015 Christian Forum for Reconciliation in Northeast Asia) has issued a strong, sharp call for reformation in the Korean church, in order to become a model of community for the unification of South and North Korea. His article The Task of the Korean Church for Peace in the Time of Globalization: Seeking Ecumenical Social Ethics in the Context of Northeast Asia” is published in the Princeton Seminary Bulletin. Dr. Yim is former dean and professor of Christianity and Culture at Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary in Seoul, Korea.

Syngman Rhee and the Costly Bridge of Mercy and Justice

Syngman Rhee & Chris Rice

By Chris Rice, January 14, 2016

“To pursue reconciliation is to become a bridge.  This means we must be willing to be walked on from both sides”  Syngman Rhee

The remarkable life of one of the world’s most faithful witnesses for peace between the divided Korean people ended suddenly a year ago.  Syngman Rhee became a close friend and colleague, and two things he said in particular continually stick with me.

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Northeast Asian Christian Leaders Gather for Peace

Photo of Richard praying over Katsuki
Duke Divinity professor Richard praying over Katsuki

Duke Divinity School web site, August 6, 2014

“Peacemaking and nonviolent reconciliation are not optional political preferences; they stand at the heart of the gospel and anchor the identity of the church,” said Richard Hays, former dean of Duke Divinity School and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament.

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Victims Can Also Become Attackers

KyongJung Kim
KyongJung Kim, Regional Representative for Northeast Asia, Mennonite World Conference

By KyongJung Kim, Korea Anabaptist Center, June 3, 2015

At the Nagasaki Forum, we received an apology from Japan for its colonization of Korea. Although we Koreans were the victims in Japan’s rule, we also admitted the uncomfortable truth that we have also been an attacker and acknowledged the many people Korea killed during the Vietnam War. The truth that may shock everyone is that nations who are victims in a situation, can also be an attacker in another. However the question is church. Christ’s church can never be a victim who also becomes the attacking side and robs people of their lives, because self-indulgent work with national violence is contrary to Christ and blocks the work aligned with him

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강우일주교:나가사키 화해포럼에서

Korean Catholic Press, May 19, 2015

2015 4 20일부터 25일까지 5 6일간, 일본 나가사키에서 열린 <동북아시아 크리스챤 화해 포럼>에 참가할 기회를 얻었습니다. <크리스챤 화해 포럼>은 오래 전부터 세계 평화 공동체 구축에 매진해 온 메노나이트 (Mennonites – 재세례파)가 주축이 되어, 역사적 분쟁지역이었던 아프리카와 동북아시아에서 신앙인들이 모여 평화와 화해 활동을 모색하는 자리입니다.

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Imagining a New “We” in Northeast Asia

(Mennonite photo op: Sue Park-Hur, Jennifer Deibert, Myrrl Byler, Joe Manickam, Kyungjung Kim, Hongtao Yin)
Mennonite participants gather at Nagasaki Forum: Sue Park-Hur, Jennifer Deibert, Myrrl Byler, Joe Manickam, Kyungjung Kim, Hongtao Yin.

By Sue Park-Hur, ReconciliAsian, May 8, 2015

How can we move towards a “new we” when there is so much brokenness and hurt in our history? Can we truly see each other as brothers and sisters when we also carry the trauma and the pain of our parents and grandparents?  Through our week together, worshiping, studying, eating, biking, bathing (public bath!), and walking together, I was able to see glimmer of hope towards a “new we”

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